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06-06-2005, 07:10 PM   #1
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Displacement Maps
So I've been making Legos. Mostly because I like them, but also because they're a precise mathematical relationship to each other (as near as I can measure them, anyways). I've managed to amass a small library, and it's growing.
Then I realized I hadn't mapped the word "LEGO" Onto the tops of the bricks. I'm currently using a displacement map from a file that covers the lego brick (for all of my pieces, I made sure that the circle was in the same location). The problem I'm getting, though, is that the word isn't as smooth as I'd like. It's occasionally triangulated, and is 'ripply', that is, it has slight vertical waves on it. (Picture attached).
Also, I didn't build all the 'composite' bricks - that is, I built, say, a 1x1 normal brick, one end (1x1) of a long brick and a middle piece (1x1), etcetera. The upshot of this is that if I (when, eventually) get around to writing a script, all I have to do is have the component parts, and the script combines them for me (this means I save on file size, and number of files, too. Besides allowing virtually any size of piece). Unfortunately, this also means that I either would have to build an 'opposite' piece for the ends (and corners, etc.), or have to figure out another way to use the maps (what about UV sets? Could I somehow use those?).

Any ideas?
Any help would be appreciated, although I'm likely to figure it out eventually..... (well, maybe).
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06-06-2005, 07:55 PM   #2
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Well you need more resolution there. You can run edit Polys>Subdivide on just that region, but remember... the more resolution you add, the slower your renders will be. What you need to ask yourself is how close are you really going to get to the word Lego in your project. In all likelihood, you could get away with using a bump map and not a displacement. It will render much much faster and be smoother, but on super close ups it won't look quite as good.
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06-06-2005, 08:55 PM   #3
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select the object and open the attribute editor and go to displacement map and up the sample rates. Start off with small additions and see how much you can get away with.

As far as your lego blocks go though I would consider having two of each one, one with the displace one without. That way you wont be calculating unecessary displacements on hidden geometry.

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07-06-2005, 09:35 PM   #4
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Because of the way I currently have the shaders set up, I tend to have an extra copy of them for the express use of the non-displacement mapped pieces (those without bumps on top). Apparently, for every piece, you need a seperate displacement node.... even if their components start out in the same location.... ah well.
And I've tried bump maps - they didn't look 'real'. Might have been the lighting angle, but other than that they looked too flat. And for how close - well, I might get closer than this; although the cylinders are fairly low poly (32 axis divisions) , they're effectively normal-mapped (from the program defaults). So I actually can get quite a bit closer before they break down. I think.
Might try getting more resolution on the top - but it's just the standard axis division up top. Thanks for the idea, though.
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